Three days after the International Criminal Court (ICC) suspended its Philippines’ war on drugs probe, senatorial aspirant Guillermo Eleazar agreed with the move, while Duterte has yet to speak about the decision.
Senatorial aspirant and retired Duterte-appointed chief cop Eleazar also defended President Rodrigo Duterte’s bloody war on drugs, yet also recognizing it has not been a “perfect campaign”.
“The Philippine justice system works. Proof of this is the conviction of the policemen for the killing of Kian delos Santos,” the Duterte-crony cop added.
He then said there is a need to strengthen the Philippine justice system rather than pushing for the death penalty revival.
“I’m after improving our criminal justice system, because for me, if we ensure that the criminals get punished, in essence, that’s the best crime prevention,” Eleazar noted.
The senatorial candidate even hoped to focus on “preventive and rehabilitation and reintegration back into the community”.
“It is better that the guilty be imprisoned for life than to have innocents executed because of a wrong judgment,” Eleazar added.
Who is Eleazar?
Eleazar was the 6th Philippine National Police (PNP) chief since Duterte sat in power, replacing the controversial mañanita cop Debold Sinas who retired in May 2021. After Eleazar’s mandatory retirement in November by reaching the age 56, he announced his intention to run for senator and filed his certificate of candidacy during the period of substitution.
Eleazar and Sinas were both graduates of the Philippine Military Academy Hinirang class of 1987.
He was the former District Director of Quezon City Police District (QCPD) from July 1, 2016, to April 18, 2018.
Human Rights Watch tallied more than 12,000 slain suspected drug users and dealers who came mostly from urban poor communities across the country.
However, the PNP and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) only acknowledged at least 5,317 killings on the alleged drug suspects ahead of the Duterte administration’s drug-war campaign based on their statistics under #RealNumbersPH.
In the said statistics, Quezon City ranked third in the capital region with the highest reported drug-related fatalities from July 2016 until December 2018.
Eleazar then served as the Regional Director for CALABARZON from April 2018 until June 2018. And a few days into his term, four drug suspects were reportedly killed in an alleged shootout with police officers in the region. He was then appointed as the National Capital Region Police Office chief until October 2019.
A 2016 Reuters investigation found out that when a police operation they refer to as a “shootout” transpired, they killed 97 percent of the people they shot.
Many of the suspects are brought to the hospital with shots in the head and the heart. The alleged drug suspects were then reported as dead-on-arrival.
As of writing, from July 2016 until September 30 this year, #RealNumbersPH recorded 6,201 persons who have died during the anti-drug operations.
Human rights defenders said that the number of killings could reach as high as 30,000, including those killed outside police operations.